P1 : OBSERVATORY
For P1 my brief was to design an observatory housing a telescope, a lecture room for thirty people, and accommodation for two. The nature of the building was described as relatively temporary, leading to varying interpretations of sustainability. My design took the approach of touching the site very lightly, with minimal use of concrete and excavation, and and easy transportation along with assembly on site.
The site was on Higger Tor, a large geological formation on Peak District. Essentially an enormous protrusion of limestone bedrock, rising from the otherwise very flat landscape, the tor is an impressive sight. After a climb to the top, the site is very flat and easy to walk on. The landscape is dominated by a large field of grass and shrubs, kept short by the unforgiving wind and rain. While conducting site analysis I paid special attention to the rock formations bordering the edge of the Tor. In some places the rocks have weathered to line up harmoniously as if placed there intentionally. I chose a particularly suitable array to the North East of the tor as my foundation. The proposed design sits in between steel portals, bolted on the chosen rocks. The telescope, as well as the whole building, is supported by the beams and operated from below. Unfinished heavy timber docks protrude from the body, connecting to an existing footpath going past the building. The interior is an open plan, with the lecture room separated from the more public area by an adjustable pivoting screen. Two bedrooms are situated on the further side fro mthe main entrance along with toilets. In the public area the beams define the space and create seating and storage spaces in between.
P2 : PERFORM
For P2 our brief was to design a performance space to host approximately a hundred visitors.
The site was in Darnall, and Eastern suburb of Sheffield. Initially getting its income from steel, the area saw a lot of social decline after the industry left. Now, along the natives there lives a wide community of immigrants, mainly from Pakistan, Bangladesh, but more recently also Romani people. The specific plot is situated at the periphery of Darnall next to Prince of Wales Road, facing often busy traffic and a discouraging environment for pedestrians. The surrounding built environment doesn’t exactly promote public expression either, consisting of a betting shop and derelict buildings.
Rather than a traditional theatre, I decided that something more informal would be more approppriate. During the time spent exploring the site I found about a high interest towards dancing, especially among the children of Romani immigrants.
My proposal is a cabaret type of mix of bar and theatre, featuring both famous traditional Romani dances as well as more contemporary performances and music
P3 : HOUSING
My manifesto was largely continuation from the masterplan, influenced by the specific given site. Connectivity between Heeley neighbourhoods and to Sheffield was an important goal in the exercise. The site is at an important junction along the main road, Gleadless Road going through Heeley. It is side by side with a popular pub, Brothers Arms, and faces SUM studios. Sitting on a hill, it has an impressive view over Millenium Park to the centre of Sheffield. Still, the area feels quite dislocated as typical to Heeley.
My developement would aim to becomethe next filling the gap between Sheffield and Heeley, while at the same time preserving a rural island like nature of the suburb. Offering an urban and vitalising front against SUM’s walls, the building brings Heeleys focal point closer to Sheffield. The introverted side of the scheme connects the the residents internally together.
The massing comprises of twelve dwellings and three different typologies in total. Facing SUM studios is a block of apartments, 10 metres high to match the roofline of the pub. The block wraps around the site, merging into the zig-zag facade of the houses. In the middle two central courtyards are formed; one semi public and one more private.